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Commodity Prices (Subsidies)

Volume 439: debated on Wednesday 9 July 1947

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58.

asked the Secretary of state for the Colonies what action is being taken by the Government of Jamaica to subsidise the prices of essential commodities; what is the level of the cost-of-living index as compared with the level in 1945; and what changes have taken place in wage levels in the same period.

The Government of Jamaica has provided £100,000 in the current year's estimates for subsidising imported foodstuffs and £14,300 for purchasing local foodstuffs at guaranteed minimum prices. The cost of living stands at present at 190 as compared with 160 in June, 1945. Wage levels have increased by an average of about 20 per cent. in the same period. In the case of the workers employed by the sugar industry, however, the increase in rates has been over 25 per cent.